Chiefs S Eric Berry claims he will not play under franchise tag in 2017

Jason Getz, USA Today Sports

Mere weeks after being eliminated in the AFC Playoffs by the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s possible the Kansas City Chiefs could have some major drama on their hands.

Coming off the third All Pro performance of his career, veteran safety Eric Berry is now indicating that he will not play under the franchise tag in 2017.

This is some rather big news for both Berry and the Chiefs. He’s set to become a free agent in March. Short of the two sides coming to a long-term agreement before then, things could get really tricky here.

If Berry remains firm against playing under the franchise tag, it will force the Chiefs to do one of three things. They could fold and give him what he demands on a long-term deal. They could place the franchise tag on the elite safety with hopes that he will back down from his stance. It’s also possible the Chiefs could simply let Berry hit the open market.

Berry, 28, played under the franchise tag this past season, earning a grand total of $10.8 million. It most definitely wasn’t a small salary for Berry, but it didn’t offer him any long-term security.

In the process, the former top-10 pick tallied 77 tackles, four interceptions and two touchdowns for the Chiefs. He’s definitely worth a long-term deal. And now, it looks like Berry is ready to play hard ball.